chapter  1
Civic Education in the Asia–Pacific Region: An Introduction
Pages 22

This book is a study of civic education in six selected societies across the AsiaPacific region (Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States). It focuses upon both the intended and implemented curriculum in schools with respect to the development of civic knowledge, skills, and values. Civic education, and the important civic values that underpin it, has become a focus of attention for many educators and education systems around the world in recent years. This attention has produced a plethora of specific polices and formal statements of curriculum goals for civic education in countries with established civic education programs as well as in those newly created democratic societies in which civic education is being introduced. Many factors contribute to explaining this phenomenonthe fall of communism and the reemergence of old state boundaries in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union, social, cultural, and economic globalization, a perceived decline in social capital and growth of social disorder, significant movements of peoples across national borders, declining voter participation in elections, increasingly assertive indigenous peoples' movements, weaker civility within societies, widening gaps between the rich and poor, and declining civic participation.